Friday, October 29, 2010
Last night I dreamt that I was on a hillside looking for the spot where Jesus was crucified. Two women showed me two places that were "maybe" and advised me to settle for one of those. A young man took me to another spot that he said was the very place. Suddenly I awoke with mean cramps in both of my calves!
I guess this dream captures my disappointment in not seeing the hill of Calvary in the Holy Land. I did not realize that churches had been built over most of the important places to the extent that I could not see a hill. The same was true for the Empty Tomb. No garden to see. I expected a church to be beside Calvary or within a garden where I could see the Holy Sepulchre.
This is the best picture I could get of the area. It is the outside of the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. I got the impression that the chapel is like a little church built inside a very large church which contains other segregated spaces. There were 25 of us priests and we had gotten permission to celebrate Mass in the cave where Jesus' tomb is located. We went through this door into an outer chamber where most of us gathered, while a few of us at a time stooped and went into the tiny cave. The altar in the cave is built over the Tomb. It is more abundantly decorated than this area outside the chapel.
If memory serves me, we climbed some steps from there to the chapel of the Crucifixion, just the opposite of the direction the body of Jesus was carried. What I remember most vividly of that space were life-size images of the Crucified Jesus and two other figures (Mary and John?)covered entirely with silver that reflected light so brightly that I could not get an adequate picture.